The companion Encyclopedia Britannica Film "Democracy" can be found here.
Illustrates the thesis that all communities can be ranged on a scale running from democracy to despotism. The two chief characteristics of despotism -- restricted respect and concentrated power -- are defined and illustrated. Two of the conditions which have historically promoted the growth of despotism are explained and exemplified. These are a slanted economic distribution and a strict control of the agencies of communication.
The end of World War II gave impetus to the "one-worlder movement." Sparked by the sense that nationalism engendered conflict, this movement for world government viewed nationhood as a relic made obsolete in an age of economic interdependence and rapid air transportation. The movement was marked by the release of films calling for world government, such as Man: One Family; We, the Peoples; Brotherhood of Man; and Our Shrinking World, and exposing the nature of fascist and authoritarian rule.
Despotism treats the idea of nationhood differently than most other educational films. It sees nations not as static entities but dynamically, moving towards democracy or despotism as conditions change. This outlook doesn't mesh well with old clichZ<caron>s about patriotism and democracy, because it doesn't necessarily see the American system as democracy's highest achievement.
Despotism offers a number of indicators by which the degree of democracy or despotism in a society can be measured, using a sliding, thermometer-like animated scale. According to an article in The New York Times (March 16, 1946), an advisory board of educators debated for eighteen months (at seventy-five conferences) over the definition of the terms "democracy" and "despotism," the titles of the two films released at the same time. Finally, a compromise was reached, resulting in the "respect scale" and the "power scale" that we see in Despotism.
So how does our own system measure up? The film becomes a little frightening as we consider where we stand with regard to indicators like economic distribution, concentration of land ownership, regressive taxation and centralized control of information. Draw your own conclusions.
Politics Political science Democracy Despotism Dictatorship Censorship Newspapers Rubber stamps Freedom of the press Communism Germany (Nazi) Third Reich Students Teachers Political Indoctrination Propaganda Mass communications Animation Graphic design Cartoons Animation Scales (sliding) Information (visual) Surrealism Capitalism Economics
[Despotism. An Erpi Classroom Film. Produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Inc. in collaboration with Harold D. Lasswell, Ph.D., Yale University. Copyright MCMXLV by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films Inc. All rights reserved. main titles graphic design art cards]
You can roughly locate any community in the world somewhere along a scale running all the way from democracy to despotism. One at the democracy end, another somewhere in the middle, and a third (inaudible). [rotating globes rulers animation graphs charts measurement quantification scales measures points pointers]
Let's find out about despotism. This man makes it his job to study these things. "Well for one thing, avoid the comfortable idea that the mere form of government can of itself safeguard a nation against despotism. [maps charts wallcharts professors academics commentators authorities]
Germany under President Hindenburg was a republic. And yet in this republic an aggressive despotism took root and flourished under Adolf Hitler. [maps flags art cards swastikas animation James Brill narrators]
When a competent observer looks for signs of despotism in a community, he looks beyond fine words and noble phrases." ". . . for which it stands, one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all." [saluting flag pledge of allegiance flags hands over hearts lynchings hangings gallows capital punishment condemnation death murder ropes nooses]
"Many observers have found that two workable yardsticks help in discovering how near a community is to despotism. The respect scale and the power scale. [goal variables charts graphs posters pointing fingers]
A careful observer can use a respect scale to find how many citizens get an even break. As a community moves towards despotism, respect is restricted to fewer people. [shared fairness equality]
A community is low on a respect scale if common courtesy is withheld from large groups of people on account of their political attitudes; if people are rude to others because they think their wealth and position gives them that right, or because they don't like a man's race or his religion. [drugstores soda Palmer Pharmacy pharmacies prescriptions candy cosmetics Scarlet Stores pedestrians people walking sidewalks storm troopers goons fascists military uniforms SA men SS men brownshirts brown shirts Nazis Sam Browne belts leather boots spectators Good Germans Jewish people Jews anti-Semitism antisemitism racism prejudice bigotry private doors offices bosses employers management class chauvinism classism For a quiet, restful vacation. Camp Gentilhomme on the Lake. Reservation Blank. Gentlemen: Enclosed please find $ --- deposit for my party of: name, address, date of arrival, religion. We solicit Gentile patronage only. Are there any Hebrews in your party? Yes or no. I hereby swear that the above statements are true. Signed application blanks pencils pointing]
Equal opportunity for all citizens to develop useful skills is one basis for rating a community on a respect scale. The opportunity to develop useful skills is important but not enough. [schools colleges universities lawns trees graduates steps stairs mothers cap and gown mortarboards parental pride pictures snapshots photography parents diplomas]
The equally important opportunity to put skills to use is a further test on a respect scale. [newspapers jobs applications employment offices unemployment work lines employment agencies]
A power scale is another important yardstick of despotism. It gauges the citizen's share in making the community's decisions. Communities which concentrate decision making in a few hands rate low on a power scale and are moving towards despotism. Like France under the Bourbon kings, one of whom said, "The state - I am the state." [shared concentrated political power democracy equestrian statues horses statuary public art]
Today democracy can ebb away in communities whose citizens allow power to become concentrated in the hands of bosses. "What I say goes. See, I'm the law around here. Ha ha ha." [government buildings smoke fires political power Tammany Hall machines laughs laughing newspaper reporters press]
The test of despotic power is that it can disregard the will of the people. It rules without the consent of the governed. [Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776 booklets opening inserts printed pieces In Congress, the unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.]
Look beyond the legal formalities of an election in measuring a community on the power scale to see if the ballot is really free. [fascists Nazis elections voting booths rigged storm troopers soldiers terrorism voters crosses hats uniforms Sam Browne belts hats control]
If the citizens can vote only the way they are told, a community approaches despotism.
When legislatures become ceremonial assemblies only, and have no real control over lawmaking, their community rates low on a power scale. "Sieg Heil. Sieg Heil." [Germany Third Reich Nazis Adolf Hitler swastikas ceremonies applause clapping newsreels salutes fascists fascism]
In a downright despotism, opposition is dangerous whether the despotism is official or whether it is unofficial. [signs fences concentration camps Camp 33 for Political Offenders political prisoners prisons prison camps hoods hanging nooses ropes executions deaths capital punishment condemned people murder flames fires burning crosses Ku Klux Klan terrorism hoods racism]
"The spread of respect and power in a community is influenced by certain conditions which many observers measure by means of the economic distribution and information scales." [instrumental variables]
If a community's economic distribution becomes slanted, its middle income groups grow smaller and despotism stands a better chance to gain a foothold. [balanced distribution of wealth money affluence poverty]
Where land is privately owned, one sign of a poorly balanced economy is the concentration of land ownership in the hands of a very small number of people.
When farmers lose their farms they lose their independence. This one can stay on, but not as his own boss any more. To the extent that this condition exists throughout a nation, the likelihood of despotism is increased. [couples men women John J. Shea v. Walter Leeds. Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale. mortgages fingers pointing United States maps animation]
In communities which depend almost entirely on a single industry, such as a factory or mine, maintaining economic balance is a challenging problem. [company towns monopolies smokestacks factories animation]
If this condition exists over the nation as a whole, so that the control of jobs and business opportunities is in a few hands, despotism stands a good chance. Another sign of a poorly balanced economy is a taxation system that presses heaviest on those least able to pay. [animation money graphs wealth national revenue large incomes small incomes regressive taxation]
A larger part of a small income is spent on necessities such as food. Sales taxes on such necessities hit the small income harder. [pie charts pie graphs large income small income]
In the days of the salt tax, feudal despotisms were partly sustained by this and other (inaudible). [historical recreations Colonial North America taxation without representation]
A community rates low on an information scale when the press, radio, and other channels of communication are controlled by only a few people and when citizens have to accept what they are told. In communities of this kind, despotism stands a good chance. [uncontrolled media monopolies monopolization oligopolies Time Warner Disney ABC Capital Cities Westinghouse CBS NBC General Electric Fox News Corporation Turner CNN critical evaluation automatic acceptance]
See how a community trains its teachers. "Bear this in mind. Young people cannot be trusted to form their own opinions. This business about open-mindedness is nonsense. It's a waste of time trying to teach students to think for themselves. It's our job to tell 'em." [lecturers mental discipline drill classrooms agreement nodding heads manufacturing consent consensus]
And when teachers put such training into practice, despotism stands a good chance. These children are being taught to accept uncritically whatever they are told. Questions are not encouraged. [students conformity conditioning brainwashing writing learning education]
"How can you ask such a question? Have you got a textbook?" "Yes Ma'am." "Does it say here that our law courts are always just?" "Yes Ma'am." "Then how dare you question the fact? Sit down."
And so we aren't surprised when - "But it must be true. I saw it in this book right here."
And if books and newspapers and the radio are efficiently controlled, the people will read and accept exactly what the few in control want them to. Government censorship is one form of control. [Ministry of Propaganda plaques signs doors windows Internal Censorship censors rubber stamps passed by censor deletions blue pencils manuscripts]
A newspaper which breaks a government censorship rule can be suspended. It is also possible for newspapers and other forms of communication to be controlled by private interests. [The Daily Citizen press control proclamations This Newspaper is Suspended editors journalists newspaper offices Advertising Manager Mgr.]
"I thought I told you to kill that story. It'll cost us a lot of advertising." "If that story goes out, I quit." "All right." [firings]
What sort of community do you live in? Where would you place it on a democracy/despotism scale? To find out, you can rate it on a respect scale and a power scale. And to find out what way it is likely to go in the future, you can rate it on economic distribution and information scales. [cities wipes]
The lower your community rates on economic distribution and information scales, the lower it is likely to rate on respect and power scales and thus to approach despotism.
What happens in a single community is the problem of its own citizens, but it is also the problem of us all because as communities go, so goes the nation. [animation United States]
[Encyclopaedia Britannica Films Inc. Bring the World to the Classroom. end titles]
Subject: Reviewer: krew09 comment
Typical neo-nazi, fascist, 'butch' homosexual, Schutzstaffel / pilot der Luftwaffe wannabe.
Manly mouth, when anonymous(e).
Mainly mouse, when outta da house.
Man of meal.
Can beat the stuffing out of a turkey.
Big man, in a bunch.
Alone, a paraplegic's lunch.
Yah, far-fetched; and I'm no Cassius Clay - Muhammad Ali when it comes to rhyme.
Subject: All americans need to watch this
This film is so prescient of what is wrong with American government and its destructive effect on its citizens and the world today. Since end or ww2 we have been regressing towards a totalitarian police state. i think it is legitimate to point out it does exist in full today. And our government is an imperialist empire, just more subtle than that of Stalin, Hitler and Mao. Estimates are that the US corporations/military(yes i know Ike said military/industrial complex. but to me its misleading because it is all corporate influence not just arms manufacturers who run our government) empire are directly or indirectly responsible for 8 million deaths since ww2. google(or use your favorie search engine)William Blum, The National Security Archives at George Washington University, et al. Many will be surprised of the outrageous covert and overt deadly operations the US "deep state" has perpetrated. The one that changed the middle east for the worse was the overthrow of a Secular democracy in Iran by cia/mi6 in 1953. REASON: what else is not news:oil. Even the genius, beloved eccentric, president Mohammad Mossadegh won his case at The Hague for the Nationalization of Iran's oil. Of course the US and its lapdogs view national or international law "as just a piece of paper". And the overthrow of peaceful social democrat Salvador Allende in 1973 is just one of many examples. Kissinger and Pinochet rot in hell, among other "leaders"(lieing despots) of USA in the past decade or so.
Subject: In 1946 terms, fairly well done.
Subject: Despotism from Encyclopaedia Britannica Films
Subject: obvious Jewish Marxist propaganda
and type 6,000,000 in the top left search engine..you can view N.Y. TIMES articles of 6,000,000 Jews dying,6,000,000 Jews starving...6,000,000 Jews dying in holocausts going back to 1869............this,was before Hitler was even born.
Subject: Fantastic Film
The war united classes and different social groups. It stregthened ties and social capital was probably never greater for the allies. After all, when you all have a big boogeyman to depose (Hitler), it gives everone a common enemy to unite against.
That's possibly the only explanation I have why this film was made. But sadly today, a film like this would never be made for the masses, especially made for "classroom" consumption.
It simply demystifies too much what governments are doing behind closed doors.
Governments are trying to act more and more like corporations -- top-down autoritarian dictatorships. You don't vote or elect who your boss or manager is. Interesting how "free democratic" countries allow these private corporations to exist in their democracies.
Their organizational models are completely contradictory to one another.
People must thank "Encyclopaedia Britannica Films" for having made this. It simplifies very complex concepts into something anyone can understand. Something so clever, and to the point.
I do wonder why there hasn't been any film to update it?
Subject: Despotism - wherever an HOA corporation burdens property
So when is the government going to stop mandating that all new housing be placed under the despotic control of an HOA corporation? Why should developers be permitted to impose involuntary membership HOA corporations? Apparently the existing governments prefer despotism to be the model for the future.
Despotism = wherever an HOA corporation burdens property
Subject: Interesting though somewhat outdated
Subject: Worth the watch!
While some may see slights, overall the film doesn't degenerate into Commie-bashing like some others in the archive and also explicitly states that "It CAN happen here". Scenes are shown of home grown despotisms, such as the political boss who has city government in his pocket.
Subject: accurate and frightening
in the political commentary i have seen, through my whole life, I have seen nothing as clear and succinct as these two films, and I literally cried. blubbered even. there is no respect among the majority, not just a minority. there is no enlightenment from the majority of media. YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO HUNT FOR IT LIKE GLEANINGS FROM A FIELD. there is no balance anymore, rich are richer, poor are poorer, middle class a dying breed, and poorer. i do not hate the rich, but this is not the way any of us really want it to be!!!! I'm afraid I will die in a land without the dream of democracy. a vote every four years is not enough. I want to be rerpesented and respected every day. tell me i am wrong. show me, really, that my sense of a fading democracy is deluded. I Want to be in that dialog. I Respect opinions. please, I beg you, end the sniping.
Subject: Proof of the first law of Communication
One we had escaped ourselves to create this nation.
. Many of the people who are alive today to read this comment on this forum are alive because we as a people became involved. While I wont go into the sickening overly egotistical idea that we were some sort of selfless heroes of the world.
It is still a fact that we did fight. We gave all and we destroyed a threat so powerful that its own people had become blinded to what they had become.
It would not have happened like that at all if not for the arrogance of those hard marching conquerors. The idiocy of poking the one sleeping beast left in play by destroying our ocean trade vessels.
Even back then we waited until they attacked the money before we got up and did something about it.
This film and those like them. Do as fine a job of reporting facts as can be done without losing the importance of the concepts involved. Made for the very purpose of warning themselves to watch out for the dangers of becoming something you cannot perceive easily as evil. I do not now, nor have I ever thought the Germans were evil. They became evil and suddenly to them good and bad became reversed and only total crushing defeat allowed them to be free of destruction's paths. We fought its wrath and confusions and overcame it by virtue of our own core values, hard work, sacrifice and blood.
If your really think this film is a depiction of "Radical propaganda!" or" Sowing seeds of perversion. A typical eat-the-rich liberal film by socialists from 1946." and a
melodramatic training film for despots."
You have in fact proved the first law of Communication "All information is ultimately under the the control of the receiver. The sender can clarify and simplify all they want. The data and its meaning is always controlled by the receiver"
I am very sorry. I dont know how or when your minds became so clouded as to not understand the definition of the words you wave around so easily. You are using them incorrectly, please read a dictionary. You rant and rave calling people marxist and a whole host of angry things. But if you were to read and understand the definition of the words your using, you would understand why those you oppose get mad and call you ignorant.
I am not angry at you. I am very upset that you have been misled so terribly.
Liberal does not mean, BIG GOVERNMENT, socialism, communism or tyranny . It means exactly what it says, freedom. Freedom to be yourself within a society of equal respect. The tools to remove tyranny through mutual understanding and collaboration towards our future.
Conservative means to manage without waste your resources. It has nothing at all to do with actively hating people you dont know because of personal differences. Nor does it involve destroying your environment to enhance the wealth of people who care nothing for the world they live on or the people living on it. Not even themselves.
This is just two major concepts of social interaction and governing. How can you attack one of them with a completely twisted and incorrect definition as your basis for contention?
You actually are proving the point of this film. The only tools at your disposal, misdirection, distraction, reversal of blame, and of course, complete lack of any facts to base any of it upon. In turn when asked to expand your statements you will do anything but stay on the topic of discussion. Anything but admit you may be wrong.
Its ok to be wrong. Its how we learn what is right. If people refuse to be wrong to the point of murdering strangers as a means of justifcation for thier deception, what then would you call them?
You are exacerbating the situation. Deceiving yourself, and the blood of those people is on yours, and my hands.
I will return with a new short film to post on this subject.
I have little faith anyone will become aware because of it. But I cannot stand by and watch my own people become the evil they fought so hard to remove from this world. So I will with a open heart, open mind and willpower that was our trademark as American's.
Subject: Freeper propaganda trolls invade Archive.org
It's like being infested with bedbugs.
Subject: Some 60 years after the film debut.
Subject: Chilling reminder in the Age of Obama
Obama managed to get Congress to rubber stamp the greatest spending bill in the history of the United States, giving them only a few hours to read thousands of pages.
He peformed a similar feat in getting the House of Representatives to pass his "Cap and Trade" bill (effectively the greatest tax increase in American history), again giving them insufficient time to actually read it.
He's trying to do it again with his massive health care bill, which the Congressional Budget Office has stated will increase costs in contradiction to Obama's stated objective.
Whether you agree with him or not, there does seem to be a troubling concentration of power in one guy.
Meanwhile, in our universities, you can express politically incorrect opinions in class only at the cost of your grade.
Subject: Very well done.
Some of the comments though, are downright bizarre.
They show just how indoctrinated a lot of Americans are against anything even remotely left wing. It amazes me to see how many people honestly believe that any kind of government intervention in anything is one step away from soviet style communism.
One commenter seems to believe that because the film points out that uneven distribution of wealth can be a partial indicator for despotism, the film is suggesting government enforced redistribution of wealth (?!). What kind of mentality does it take to believe that stating pretty well established facts, completely in context, could amount to propaganda?
Subject: triple interesting
The comments, which I read, were, and showed some intelligence until one, which was interesting in that the only one to called other "idiot" posted the most mindless post.
Yea, keep y'er yap shut, pay y'er taxes, send y'er kids off ta' war and wave the flag. Cause I'm the law here, see? Rah, rah, sis, boom, bah. Bush, Bush, Bush, Bush, Sieg, Bush, Heil, Bush!
What an idiot.
Know what else is amazing? How everyone's got a friggin' axe to grind. This film is dead-on accurate, nothing in it is refutable. Yet some people here have their blinders on so freakin' tight that they can't let go of what their union newsletter or their leftist buddies have filled their minds with. It's NOT propoganda, and if you're a Communist who doesn't like President Bush, keep it to yourself, no one cares.
In short, WATCH THIS FILM, and watch it with your mind open and your yap shut.
Subject: Theme is Updated in Naomi Wolf's book
Russia was obviously our friend in 1946, and gets a bye. In addition to Germany in the 30s--when Hitler rose to power legally in a democratic system--Wolf cites Italy in the 20's, Russia , Chile and China.
Wolf shows the elements leading to totalitarianism are uniform across political systems--including ours.
Subject: I enjoyed the film.
I agree with many points of review by Bent Forkman. This film does far too much to encourage discourse to be classified as propaganda.
Overall the quality of the film could be classed as watchable. There were parts that had significantly deteriorated and there was a minor high pitched whine through the whole episode. The track is a good example of why we need to archive our recordings.
If you haven't watched this film then please do. You don't have to agree with everything to find it entertaining.
Subject: History Test
The censored definition of "Democracy"
Subject: Film is somewhat dated.
Subject: Companion Democracy film found in AV Geeks section.
Subject: important discourse
Subject: Maybe this will help
On my Fantoma DVD (collection is called "Patriotism"), there is another good film from 1963 that will get you run out of town by talk radio these days: "Great Rights," 1963.
It explains the Bill of Rights and how it gives the citizen immunity from government abuses.
Subject: Has anyone got the companion film?
Subject: Bush's America
Subject: This film is incredible!
Yes, this film is eerily relevent, no it should not be seen as propaganda.
This film does far too much to encourage discourse to be classified as propaganda. There is little here that does not simply examine how the concept of despotism might be applied to different scales in order to give the viewer a starting point for their own evaluation of their community. This is an educational film made for children in order to explain concepts of basic polical philosophy. Amazingly apathy has so eroded contemporary understandings of politics that we are all less informed than the schoolchildren of the 40's. Arguements that this film would classify all modern industrialized society as despotic suggest that half a loaf is the same as no bread. The film clearly states that communities that rank poorly are prone to despotism, not inherently despotic.
However, any country who's government practises torture has clearly already succumbed to despotism.
Subject: Another Re-Mix of Despotism Online
I've done a re-mix of Despotism, adding some contemporary referances and doing major re-editing. I hope you'll drop by http://www.hoppervideo.net to check it out. Thanks.
Subject: Obsolete Ideals
Subject: Barclays Class
Subject: Older Film Competently Teaches Timeless Political Wisdom
Although its visual illustration is simple-- the narrator, a Yale professor, presents his lecture with care and sophistication.
Do you live under a despotism? Watch this film and you might get an answer.
Subject: Did they have a time machine?
Subject: Think Critically
Subject: Corny, quaint, and evil
Even though it refers to the U.S., a constitutional republic, it says that democracy is the opposite of despotism. (A serious flaw, since the opposite of despotism is FREEDOM, while pure democracy is itself a form of tyranny.)
So what's the cure for our despotism? The film lets you figure out the solution on your own, (since there is only one): government-forced redistribution!
Watch this obvious, anti-capitalist film, then compare to the stealthier broadcasts of the BBC, NPR, PBS, MSNBC, etc. of today.
Ugly, but recommended.
Subject: Splendid film
A majority opposed the current Iraq war on moral and economic grounds yet have been exised from the process of participation in our government. Because your so-called "liberal" media shut down the debate we must conclude that the spector of despotism darkens our own skies. Corporate domination and government stifling debate are two more examples of despotism given in the film. It would be well to remember that as bad a president as he was, even Reagan allowed for some compromise and consent with opposing politicans. Not so today. And to those who say, "9-11 changed everything", I say, "Not the Constitution."
Subject: Relevant to today
Subject: True as it ever was, and fun to watch.
Subject: True as it ever was, and fun to watch.
Subject: Interesting, But Wreaks of Socialism
Rather, instead of exclusively scaling the society on the scales of power and respect, it is equally important to include love into that equation.
Subject: these guys must have had a crystal ball
The educators at the time had seen the horror of German fascism only a year before and knew how it came about. They also knew that "it could happen here too." EXCELLENT!
This film should be shown in U.S. classrooms again, but since it is too close to the reality of the day, AND shows how the Pledge of Allegiance was originally done (without the mention of "God" added by the Joe McCarthy crowd a few years later), I doubt the current Bush regime would allow it.
Subject: Interesting but dated?
However, this movie is as relevant today as it was in 40's. The current US administration, in my opinion, would strike pretty low on the despot scale.
It's very interesting, but I wouldn't say dated.
Subject: A warning from the past
Subject: Succinct, Effective Message
Far from being dated, this film is a gripping reminder that despotism can and does take hold in democratic systems, thus the onus is on the citizenry to recognize the trends which lead to its rise.
To respond to some other reviewers: each characteristic is presented as a scale -- not at all a binary, black or white decision. Contrary to oversimplifying the ideas, the film succeeds in making the average person see the question of democracy vs. despotism in a much more complex, multidimensional light.
Bonus points are given for presenting a scene in which a part of the Pledge of Allegiance is recited, revealing the omission of the phrase "under God."
Also recommended as companion viewing: "America's Distribution of Wealth" (http://www.archive.org/movies/details-db.php?id=108). Compare the distribution presented in that film with current figures...
Subject: Eerily relevant
The concentration of media power, its control by commercial interests, and the endless search for scapegoats seem eerily prescient in the twenty-first century. But other films in the collection show how it got that way: the demonizing of drugs and drug users, the scare stories about sex, the fear of young people themselves, the sense that even the mildest forms of deviance must be ruthlessly ferreted out and punished "for your own good" --- in short, the deliberate cultivation of fear of your neighbours, the sense that the network of human feeling is in imminent danger of collapse if you stray even a little from the straight and narrow --- these are all things that invite the concentration of power, and brand others as unworthy of respect.
Subject: Still completely relevant.
I highly suggest screening "Despotism" for friends and family as a conversation starter. This film may yet have something to teach all of us.
Subject: This film could be made today, but you'd never know it existed
Subject: Important, not entertaining
Subject: Amazingly relevant
The film reminds us that it's not "pretty words" that make a democracy, but how it treats its citizen, and how power is distributed. Refreshing to see that when it uses actors to show how despotism can subtly begin to take hold, they use Caucasians speaking American English, in situations that are all too real.
Subject: I Doubt That This Movie Could Be Made Today
In terms of the criteria offered by this film for the evalutation of despotism (i.e. Respect, Power, Income Distribution, and Information), I would say that the nation doing very badly in the first three areas.
The fourth criteria (Information) does, however, give one a ray of hope for the future. Information is much harder to control today than it was in 1946, although I'm sure that there are people, here and abroad, who are working on this issue.
Subject: Despotism in America
Subject: Uh oh.
Subject: Cheesy Imagery -- Insightful Commentary
It is painfully obvious that this unbalanced concentration of power is happening at a faster and faster rate in America. (and I don't mean that lame fiction constantly spouted about the media be liberal).
Watch this film. It is scary and hilarious.
Subject: Old Propaganda As Ammunition for New
Subject: What country isn't guilty of propaganda?